An Empath that suffers from anxiety is the typical “therapist friend” that always listens to other people’s problems and offers undying love and unconditional support. That person may listen as they feel so deeply and know what it’s to feel alone, misunderstood, or afraid. But, they’re more complicated than just listening to other people’s problems or offering unconditional support.
If you are a highly empathetic person who also suffers from anxiety, you probably avoid expressing your deepest vulnerabilities or worries, because your friends may leave you or judge you.
You often worry if your friends are okay after they disclose their deepest emotions. You also wonder if you really helped them. You also want to check up on them when something is bothering them, but you resist the temptation since you are afraid that you will come off as clingy.
You know all their secrets and you often feel as if you aren’t safe enough or special enough to hold such important pieces of other people’s lives. You also wonder why they chose to tell you their secrets. You feel as if you’re a protector; always vigilant and alert.
You always listen to other people, even when anxiety tears at you. You discover a renewed sense of comfort in listening, as if you don’t have anxiety. You recognize that even through your desire to conceal your imperfections and flaws, everyone has problems, and everyone wants to feel understood and heard.
You wonder if your friends really understand the impact your constant anxiety has on you, but you always try to appear functional enough and healthy enough in order to help them. You feel like your constant fear is slowly leading to a state of constant exhaustion.
You worry about who will listen to them if you do not, but you may eventually recognize that sometimes, your own needs should come first. You feel guilty about taking time for yourself, but you may eventually feel your discomfort dissipate as you identify the beauty of living for yourself, not in the constant service of other people.
You know that you’re able to make other people feel comfortable around you. You may eventually refuse to let the weight of their problems drain you. You may finally recognize the benefits of self-care and learn to believe that other people will survive even if you don’t always help them. You may eventually learn to balance your empathy and your anxiety in the hope that you’ll become stronger, not only for other people, but for yourself.